Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nekkid Agin' the Horde!

You’re in the midst of the Zombacalypse and because you are a gunnie with some survivalist tendencies you are well prepared. But what if the situation goes pear shaped?

What if you get separated from your stuff. Like you get arrested for shooting a man (actually a zombie) and are in the tanty for a couple days before the cops say “You were right! They are the walking dead, returned from the grave to feast on the living! Get out of here. Go home. Good luck. No we don’t have any of your personal property, sorry.” When you walk home your house and the rest of your neighborhood has been burned down, who knows how or why. The thing is, there are shamblors about, and you have naught but a tree branch and your favorite weapon… The one between your ears. Now you don’t want to be a corpse-snack, so you have to do something.

You need something to keep the deadly threat from getting to you, you need some sort of shelter and clothing appropriate to the climate, you need drinking water and food. You may need a means of mobility besides shanks mare.

You don’t need a gun if you can be someplace where the zombies can’t get to. A locked school, or the roof of buildings, for instance. Or an oil rig or something.

This is a gun blog, so you know I’d light on this. Where do you get a gun after the horde has risen and order has broken down? A gun would be mighty helpful, but the gun shops are gonna be empty. You have to assume, (for guns as well as food and other supplies) that looting will become something that won’t be considered illegal. Unfortunately, when it is safe from authorities to do so and semi-legal to scavenge by looting then all the lootable things and places will already be looted. Sorry. If you have been a scumbag criminal you might have gotten to the canned Spam first. When it is ok to take what you want at the Safeway there won’t be anything worth taking.

But back to guns… How are you gonna get a gun without taking it from an uninfected person that needs it as much as you, assuming you aren’t lucky and an uninfected human gives you a spare? Well, there has certainly been a big die off in security forces by the middle of a Level 4 Outbreak. When they were overcome their gear was dropped on the ground. So getting these would be helpful and quick because you don’t want the nice rifles to start to rust. Big problem is, if the horde was too much for a squad or platoon of soldiers and police what makes you think you can sneak in there and yoink one for your own use. It’s a tough problem to solve. You could luck out and the migratory patterns of the undead might have moved them off from the scene. Then dash in, grab what you can carry of weapons, ammo, and other gear, and dash out to a safe zone. You can distract the zombies to attract them to another area with noise or what not, and do the dash in dash out. Cooperation with other survivors would help here, but beyond the scope of this post. You’re on your own. The Left4Dead video game and Walking Dead TV show demonstrated that a car alarm can be helpful in the distraction strategy, as the noise will draw the mindless shamblors. Have you noticed that fewer cars have alarms these days? Another crimp in that plan. Cars these days DO have that panic button on the key fob, though. And there will be lots of abandoned vehicles and some of them with keys and working batteries at this stage. Try that. Get TWO key fobs. One for your bait car and one to actually become your means for mobility and shelter.

Yes a working but abandoned car can help with a lot of problems. It offers temporary safety. A zombie may eventually break in to get you, but by then, if you have fuel, you can drive off. It’s a shelter that will keep you dry. If you sleep in it, again, a zombie that tries to break in to eat you will give you plenty of warning to wake and move in all by the worst swarm over. You’ll want to park on a hill. In the event the car won’t start you can coast a ways and may get some distance from the threat. I’d recommend an SUV if you can swing it. The bigger tires run over zombies easier. The light offroad ability with 4WD and a higher clearance can prove useful. You can stretch out in the back to sleep and you have some storage for putting stuff during your improvised scavenging.

Assuming you have the vehicle, but no gun yet and there are no piles of weapons left by security types lying on the ground or they are too rusty to be any use? Where do you find a gun? As mentioned, the gunstores are probably cleaned out, or are fully stocked but locked up and a hard nut to bust open. If you know how to drive a bulldozer and one is handy, you can probably get in. Be quick, the noise will attract attention. Once you execute your bust-in plan you have no time to work out the details, so plan well before you start.

Where else will you find guns? Inside abandoned houses. You’ll have to sneak in to quite a few. Check the closets in the master bedroom and under the mattress. Don’t get trapped doing so. If you find an open gunsafe chances are it is empty, by the previous owner or other scavengers, so a quick looksee and get out. There will probably nothing else of value unless the previous folks left in a hurry. Oh, and gunsafes are often in the basement. The basement is dark and the electricity is almost certainly off, and there are few escape routes to get out of there. Be careful. Check trunks of abandoned police cars, where you might find an unmolested shotgun or AR and ammo. Other good stuff in the trunk, too.

If you went in the basement, grab the bleach in the laundry room. If can make creek water drinkable by putting a half teaspoon in a gallon of questionable water. You’d hate to get dysentery. You’ll get caught with your ‘pants down’ eventually. Keep an eye out for a container to put your water in. Bound to be lots of empty bottles about.

So, now you’ve gone from nearly naked to a survivor with a vehicle, a gun, and you have probably scavenge precious little ammo and food. You’ve been lucky and haven’t gotten bit, if you had none of this would matter. You should be ok with water at this point unless you live in a drier region (my assumptions have been that you’re doing this in the Midwest or east coast. Sorry folks in Albequerque. But you folks there have some other advantages. Like wide open vistas to see trouble coming, and greater access to areas less populated by people OR zombies.) So, what now? Aside from constant scavenging and risk management of same (don’t get panicky or reckless or you’ll get eaten) you need to find a place to go that’s safer. A more permanent home base. That’s hard, as you’ll have other survivors to deal with. With zombies you know where you stand, but People are an X-Factor. Depending on what stage you are in the Outbreak, your scavenging can be a good thing for them and they shoot you and take your stuff, or if it's early and public order hasn't fully collapsed they may think you a looter and shoot you. And take your stuff. You need to look like an asset to their side. A small group is probably best for this. That small group can look to align with other groups eventually, and from there you build a society again. It's still hard to judge, and once you commit to contact things go out of your control a little bit.

But you can’t go solo forever. Unless you got to that well-stocked light house full of fishing gear in the middle of the Bay. Be wary when contacting strangers. Don't look like a bad guy. Keep an eye out to be sure that THEY aren't bad guys. Keep an eye out to be sure THEY aren't stupid. Don't be stupid your own self and let folks see. You are shopping for a good band and they are shopping for able bodied assets to help them, so you are both looking for mutual gain. Hooray capitalism! A good way to start remaking society, initial living off the dregs of the previous society.


sofa said...

"American Apocalypse" online blog novel started a year ago, was interesting. The protagonist starts alone and is confronted by numerous situations. Enventually he associates with a series of partners and/or groups. Movement, adaptation, and avoiding situations were common themes.

I found the early writings (now organized as 'Book One'), the most informative because the author walked the character through many situations I had not thought about; some silly, but many relevant. (Book two briefly wandered into other themes. But the newer writing is back to the original themes- an individual or small group, dealing with situations.)

The online blog writing started pretty rough, but has become much more polished in style and in concept. Blog commenters suggest plot lines, and help with research. After editing, "American Apocalypse" books are now published and available at Amazon, etc.


I'm not the author, nor do I know him, nor do I have any financial interests.

Tastes vary. But I've enjoyed "American Apocalypse" because it touched on situations like those raised in this post.

JB Miller said...

Survival order

1) Weapons /security
2) Water food
3) Secure shelter
4) Mobility
5) Community

Find an island, a secluded midwest town, and clear the zeds.

Armor up. Arm up. Begin silent salvage operations.

Old NFO said...

JB beat me to it... :-)